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Pruning intensity and severity affect flowering processes in the mango tree

Grechi I., Persello S., Boudon F., Normand F.. 2021. Wenatchee : ISHS, 1 p.. international Symposium on Integrating Canopy, Rootstock and Environmental Physiology in Orchard Systems. 12, 2021-07-26/2021-07-30, Wenatchee (Etats-Unis).

Pruning is one of the most important management practices for the mango tree, and it is known to affect vegetative growth. Pruning may affect mango tree flowering as well, at least indirectly, as close relationships exist between vegetative growth and mango reproduction. The objective of this study was to quantify the effects of pruning on flowering. An experiment was conducted in 2016 in Reunion Island on adult mango trees, cv. Cogshall. Pruning was applied after harvest and characterized by pruning intensity (defined as the amount of fresh biomass removed per unit volume of canopy) and pruning severity (defined as the distance between the distal end of the branch and the pruning point). Vegetative growth was recorded on 30 pruned and 30 unpruned terminal growth units (GUs) per tree. After vegetative growth and the resting period, flowering was described, in terms of occurrence, intensity and dynamics, on five populations of terminal GUs characterized by their age and origin (initial pruned and unpruned GUs that did not growth after pruning, or daughter GUs stemmed from them after pruning). Flowering occurrence, intensity and dynamics were affected by the population of GUs and by pruning intensity and severity. For instance, flowering probability on daughter GUs produced on pruned GUs increased with pruning intensity and decreased with pruning severity. Moreover, some terminal GUs produced on pruned or unpruned GUs of pruned trees flowered late, leading to a second flowering event. Finally, the results showed that pruning affects mango tree flowering through the proportion and flowering ability of the different populations of GUs within the canopy generated by pruning. As a next step, vegetative and flowering responses to pruning at the GU scale may be integrated into a functional-structural mango tree model to further analyze their complex effects and interactions at the tree scale.

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